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Q&A: Sterling's Khuntangta has had more than a touch of Thailand

Sterling's Micah Khuntangta returns a serve Thursday against Dixon's Joey Hammitt.
Sterling's Micah Khuntangta returns a serve Thursday against Dixon's Joey Hammitt.

Do you have any hobbies?

I like to play guitar, both acoustic and electric. I like acoustic more lately. I used to do all electric, but I’ve been playing a lot of acoustic lately.

What kind of music
do you play?

Blues and folk. I like a lot of country, too. I play a bunch of country songs with my friends.

Have you played guitar
for quite a while?

I started playing in middle school, but I never really played all that much. Probably 2 years ago, I started playing a lot more.

Are you in a band?

No. That might be a little too much. It’s just a hobby.

What else do you do
with your time?

My dad owns the Touch of Thai [restaurant] and the Wellness Center in Dixon. I work a lot at the restaurant. It’s like a tea shop and they do yoga and meditation. I serve tea and work the regsiter.

You mentioned meditation. Is that something you do?

It’s a big part of my Dad’s life, so I’m around it a lot. I don’t do it so much myself.

What are your plans
after high school?

I’m going to SIU Carbondale to study finance and accounting. They gave me a scholarship for that. They say you’ll change your major, so I’ll probably take some political science classes and maybe minor in that. I’m going to take a fifth year of accounting to get my Master’s.

What do you see yourself doing for a career?

I always pictured myself being more than an accountant, maybe more of a businessman. I just know I want to have a big-city job up in a high rise.

Have ties to Thailand?

My dad’s from Thailand. My mom went over there to do [United Nations] work in the 80s. She’s a nutritionist and a nurse. She was doing some clinics. My dad was doing the same thing. They met and came back here.

Have you been there?

Yeah. A couple times. It’s a lot more slowed down. Bangkok’s pretty bad. It’s not a nice town. For the most part where my dad grew up is pretty rural. There’s a lot of farming and fishing, a lot of dirt roads and a lot of small houses.

How much time have
you spent there?

I’ve only been there a few times, but in the middle of fifth grade, we went over there for about 7 months. We were going to go over spring break [this year], but we moved our tickets to the summer. That’s going to be a graduation gift.

Do you speak Thai?

I can understand it pretty well. It’s a little harder to speak.

Any favorite foods?

I eat a lot of Thai food at the restaurant. It can be real spicy, but I like spicy food.

Do you have a favorite
Thai dish?

Pad Thai. It’s rice noodles and a bunch of different Thai spices. It’s got a peanutty flavor to it. It’s got chicken or beef in it.

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